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USB Killer; the flash drive designed to fry your COMPUTER


Have you found any USB flash drive on the way while you are walking? And have you inserted it in to your laptop? Be aware! Because, it may not only fire up your important files or data stored on your laptop like malwares and virus, but it may also fire up your Laptop as well.

Recently Russian researcher nicknamed Dark Purple, had found the concept very interesting and developed his own computer-frying technique. Mr. Purple, works with an electronic company in Russia. He was successful in creating a USB killer device with the help of China manufactured circuit boards. The basic idea of the USB drive is quite simple. When we connect it up to the USB port, an inverting DC/DC converter runs and charges capacitors to – 110V. When the voltage is reached, the DC/DC is switched off. At the same time, the filed transistor opens. It is used to apply the -110V to signal lines of the USB interface. When the voltage on capacitors increases to -7V, the transistor closes and the DC/DC starts. The loop runs till everything possible is broken down. Those familiar with the electronics have already guessed why negative voltage is used here. Negative voltage is easier to commutate, as we need the N- channel field resistor, which, unlike the P-channel one, can have larger current for the same dimensions. Random USB drives could be used for phishing or viruses, but now they can be used as a bomb. It is designed to look like an innocuous flash drive, but inside it packs quite a punch.

Subsequently in coming future hackers may target such drives from which not only data but also physical parts can be damaged which can results in heavy destruction. Time will show what this discovery can lead upon to in future. Stuxnet worm is another tangible example of cyber-attacks specially targeted nuclear infrastructure in western Asia which was started from a USB drive and was designed to destroy centrifuges at the nuclear facility.

Moreover, in 2014, a security firm demonstrated an attack on Apples Mac computer by overriding temperature controls which could actually set the machine on fire. So if we say that a computer can be converted into a bomb then of course its true. A hacker can probably make your computer explode as well. Consequently in future, we cant deny the forms of Cyberspace battle-ground to change. Cyber- weapons like Wiper, Duqu, Flame and Stuxnet is the reality of present scenario.

By: Sundar Ghimire


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